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Hypothetically, if kept overpaying a credit card such that the negative balance kept increasing to absurd amounts, what would happen?

For example, say I have a credit card with a line of $500. When making a payment, I accidentally include an extra 0, and so, I end up with a negative balance of $10,000 (that is, I overpaid my credit card by $10,000).

Does that money sit forever as credit, or would the credit servicer eventually notify me and/or send me a check for the negative?

Is there an amount where the credit servicer gets a flag / notification, or I simply can't keep paying more to the card?

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If you have a negative balance on your credit card, you can call the issuer and have them send you a check for the amount. Some will do it automatically for large amounts or if it stays negative over some period of time.

Usually credit card issuers don't let paying more than the current balance, but it still can happen sometimes if you pay off your balance and then get a refund, for example.

  • Thank you. So if a credit line is for $500, it can't go lower than -$500 usually? – user3898238 Jul 18 '15 at 22:03
  • That is interesting. I didn't know you could have a negative balance... Who the hell would pay more than their credit bill anyways? But I guess typos can occur.. I most definitely would not add an extra 0 it would probably be more likely that I am missing a digit. – NuWin Jul 18 '15 at 22:27
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    @NuWin it happened to me several times with refunds after paying off. I got a check a couple of times, but most of the times it just stayed there for several days until some other purchase used it up – littleadv Jul 18 '15 at 22:32
  • @littleadv well that type of negative balance makes sense. Overpaying into a negative balance doesn't. Upvote, I learned something today. – NuWin Jul 18 '15 at 22:40
  • @user3898238 There is no limit set, i.e. $500 can go max -$500 ... it can go any amount. Generally overpaying by Large $$ cases are rare. – Dheer Jul 19 '15 at 4:34
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As with many questions here, while littleadv is correct, the real answer is "each bank may handle this differently." In my case, I was experimenting with my balance to see the impact of utilization, and I overpaid the current bill before the bill was issued.

enter image description here

The prior balance was paid, but then I sent a payment to bring my account to a credit balance.

Further down the statement appears the line -

Your account has a credit balance. We can hold and apply this balance against future purchases and cash advances, or refund it. If you would like a check mailed to you in the amount of the credit balance, simply call us and speak to a representative.

You can also see that the "revolving credit available" is above the line of credit, implying that someone with a $5000 credit line wanting to charge a $6000 engagement ring can send a higher payment to the account and then make that charge.

  • This matches my experience, described in this answer. – Ben Miller Nov 18 '16 at 12:54
  • Ha. I just +1 your answer which was voted down. Strange. – JoeTaxpayer Nov 18 '16 at 13:02

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